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Houey | Golden Retriever | Corona Del Mar | In - Training

Meet Houey! A loving and playful 6 month old golden retriever from Corona Del Mar, who’s here for our three week board and train program. Over these next three weeks Houey and I will be working on his Greeting Manners, Off command to make sure he doesn’t jump on furniture, Car Manners, and overall obedience Off Leash! Stay tuned for his three week transformation!


Pupdate 9/18/2022

Houey and I had a lot of fun together today, playing fetch and tug of war in the backyard. I got him all settled in and he felt right at home! We then went on a walk together to get some energy out. Training will officially begin tomorrow!


Pupdate 9/19/2022

Houey and I started our day by introducing him to the Heel command while out on a walk. Heel is the action of Houey walking by my left hand side, turning when I turn and sitting when I stop walking. He shouldn’t be distracted sniffing around. The more he checks in with me during the Heel the better. Whenever I call Houey’s name he is expected to offer me eye contact. Once he does, I mark it with a Yes and reward. To teach Heel, I utilized a Herm Sprenger prong collar and the E collar together, pairing leash pressure with stimulation from the E collar. Houey was excited to be outside yet did very well with sticking by my side. He hardly pulled and whenever he did, I turned the opposite way with him cuing him to Heel. If he turned with me, I marked it with a Yes and rewarded him. If he kept pulling, I popped the leash in the direction I wanted him to go. Since Houey has already been taught leash pressure during his puppy board and train, following the leash pressure was natural for him. Anytime I popped the leash I stimulated him with the E collar. The E collar has 100 different levels to it which are finely tuned to every dogs sensitivity level. The level that works for Houey fluctuates according to his environment.

While we were out on a walk we passed by reactive dogs. Houey was curious yet never fixated and kept checking in with me. Houey did try to eat grass a few times while Heeling. I cued Off and he stopped the first time I said it. Off means to leave whatever the distraction is alone. If he wouldn’t have left it, I would have popped the leash to reinforce the Off command along with stimulation of the E collar.

We then brushed up on our Come to Sit. Since he already understood how to follow the leash pressure, it took him no time to consistently Come to Sit by my left hand side ready to Heel. Whenever Houey was in the Sit I tested it by making noises and stomping my feet around him to see if he would break it. He did excellent and did not get up until released!


Pupdate 9/20/2022

Houey and I took a trip to the local park today! There were plenty of distractions to work around such as crowds of people, ducks, dogs walking with their owners, and landscapers using loud machines. Houey is a very confident pup that has been exposed to new environments since puppyhood, which has helped him tremendously with training around distractions. His biggest and only distraction we had to emphasize our work around today was birds. This is not surprising since he is a retriever after all! We utilized this as a training opportunity and worked on engagement near these distractions. I rewarded Houey whenever he voluntarily looked at me or looked at me on command. I walked around in different directions marking it with a Yes whenever Houey chose to follow me. Giving dogs the illusion of free will and rewarding them when they choose you over all the distractions around them is the quickest way to build drive and engagement. Houey responded to this exercise very well and followed me around the birds as we gradually got closer to them. Whenever he tried to veer off towards the distractions I cued Off. If he did not respond to Off I stimulated him with the E collar and popped the leash towards me. He tested it about two times, but began to catch on that the Off command will always be reinforced.

We then worked on his Send Away to Place command. Houey is familiar with the Place command and held it for a minute and a half! We then worked on creating distance from him and the Place object. The goal is to be able to create plenty of distance between Houey and the Place object. We will also keep building distractions around Houey to further proof his commands.


Pupdate 9/21/2022

Houey and I ventured out to a park in Whittier where we had the opportunity to train around other trainers and their pups. We worked on building the duration for his Extended Sit and Place up to two minutes today. He was very consistent and even held it as multiple dogs walked in circles around him. I noticed this was difficult for Houey and required great impulse control from him as all he wants to do is play! He did well and although he was curious, he did not release himself. I rewarded him for checking in with me and Cued Off whenever he began to fixate on any of the pups. If Houey responds to Off and checks in with me I mark it with a Yes. If he ignores my Off command I then stimulate him with the E collar which helps grabs his attention. He hardly needs any leash pressure to perform his commands which demonstrates to me he is ready to begin to work on all of his commands with the 15ft leash where we can add distance and will be one step closer to being Off Leash!


Pupdate 9/22/2022

Houey and I had the chance to work on all of his commands that he has learned so far with the 15ft leash! We Heeled together around the park with the leash dragging and he did well! Only needing leash guidance in the beginning. By the end of his session he was able to Heel, Come to Sit, and Come to Heel without any leash pressure.

I then introduced Houey to the Under command. Under is great to utilize with Houey when outside in public places. He performs a Down Underneath any surface and is expected to stay there until released. I fed the leash through to the other side of the bench which helped guide Houey and in no time he felt comfortable enough to perform it consistently. Once we got home, I introduced him to my other board and train pup Rookie. They are both very energetic and can play rough sometimes. I gave them frequent breaks so they don’t become overstimulated with each other but overall they matched each other’s energy and I can see them being good friends!


Pupdate 9/23/2022

Houey and I went on a trip to Fashion Island today! We practiced all of his commands with the leash dragging and focused primarily on building consistency with his Under command. Houey has practiced Under with benches but hadn’t had the chance to practice the command underneath a chair. At first Houey was uncomfortable with being in a confined space like underneath a chair. I lured him through it the first few times which definitely helped him overcome that skepticism he had. I then weaned him off the luring and added leash pressure which he responded well to. He was able to hold his Under command for about 30 seconds which was great considering this was a new surface for him to get used to. We then Heeled around the mall together with the leash dragging, passing by other dogs and crowds of people. Houey was confident and a little curious but stayed by my side.


Pupdate 9/24/2022

Houey and I ventured out to the local park today but I definitely had to add in some cute photos I happened to take yesterday at Fashion Island with him! This park has plenty of wildlife distractions for Houey to practice impulse control at, and he even had the opportunity to practice Greeting Manners with friendly kids that wanted to say hi.

Houey performed all of his commands with the 15ft leash dragging. He does not need help with much leash pressure anymore unless we are practicing under with confined spaces. If Houey happens to Sit far away during his Come to Sit, I create space then have him immediately Come to me again to correct himself.

He is such a playful pup so I add in playtime after Houey performs his commands as a reward. I noticed he had the habit of running off with toys which is something I would like to counter condition. We began to play fetch. I threw the toy and then called Houey to come to me as soon as he caught the toy. If he wouldn’t come I applied stimulation from the E collar at a low number to get his attention. Houey responded well to this and brought the toy over to me. As soon as he brought the toy over I extended a closed fist outwards and cued Off. If he didn’t respond to it I stimulated him with the E collar which helped grab his attention to drop it. As soon as he dropped it I played with him as a reward then gave it right back to him. After repeatedly doing this he caught on and became more consistent with bringing the toy and dropping it with the Off cue. Training can always be applied, even during playtime which helps keep training fun!


Pupdate 9/25/2022

Houey and I practiced all of his commands Off leash as we Heeled around the neighborhood together. There were a few distractions, even reactive dogs that Houey was unbothered by. We practiced his Come to Sit and Come to Heel from distances of 15ft or more. Houey demonstrated fluency with all of his commands. He occasionally needed help with straightening up his Come to Sit and Heel but corrected himself every time rather quickly. He has met his two minute goal with holding his Sit and Down so now we are working on adding even more time!


Pupdate 9/26/2022

Houey and I went on a trip to a park in Whittier today. He had the opportunity to work with another trainer which Houey did great with! He followed through with all of his commands and displayed no signs of separation anxiety. This means he will do great with his CGC test! He will be tested on his behavior with another trainer as I go out of sight.

Houey is performing all of his commands from a distance. His biggest distraction is other dogs. Houey loves to initiate play so we are working on solidifying his boundaries around other pups. When I Cue Off he typically responds the first time which shows me he is learning to control his impulses.


Pupdate 9/27/2022

Houey and I had an eventful beach day today! Ever since puppyhood Houey has been a huge fan of the beach, using his break time wisely running around in the sand whenever he got the chance. The beach didn’t have too much going on so we had the opportunity to use the jungle gym and practice some fun agility! Agility is great for confidence and relationship building. I guided Houey through the hoop with leash pressure a few times then removed the leash and had him jump through it by pointing the direction I wanted him to go. He picked up on this quickly, following my lead. We then practiced send away to Place on top of the wobbly boards. The wobbly boards are challenging, as Houey has to balance himself to stay on top of it. He worked through it and managed to stay there until released. Good work Houey!


Pupdate 9/28/2022

Houey and I took a trip to The Citadel Outlets today! We practiced all of his commands in distracting environments like crowds of people, machines being used in construction and other dogs. Houey did great with holding his Extended Down and Sit commands for up to three minutes consistently while I was about 15 ft away from him. He worked on his Greeting Manners as well since he got some attention as usual! He is controlling the impulse to jump, and always does better once instructed to Sit first so he understands what is expected of him when greeting new people. Once we got home he got some playtime with my other pup Rookie. We get to practice some recalls while he is playing which is very challenging for him! He is able to come to me in the middle of playtime and only needed stimulation once before he understood to come every time, even during playtime. Good boy Houey!


Pupdate 9/29/2022

Houey and I had an early morning session today at the local park. We worked on all of his commands Off Leash, Heeling together past flocks of birds, squirrels, other dogs and people. We worked on creating distance between us as I send him away to Place near more and more distractions. Houey is very attentive and sticks with me. His biggest distraction is other dogs and birds, which isn’t surprising considering he is bred to have a prey drive after all! We work on his impulses, teaching him to check in with me when we are near these big distractions. He responds to his name being called quite well. We always make sure to play the name game when arriving somewhere new. I say Houey’s name, testing his attention near distractions and when he offers me his attention I mark it with a Yes then reward. This is how I create value for him deciding to be engaged with me.

Once we got home I let him run around and have playtime with the other pups. His off command is improving, as I interfere with his play if he becomes overstimulated and needs a break.


Pupdate 9/30/2022

Houey and I went on a trip to The Citadel Outlets today. We had a great opportunity to proof his commands around a busy environment like crowds of people and even other dogs. I sent him away to Place from a distance of 15ft away. He held his Extended Sit and Place for up to 3 minutes which is past what is expected of him. He loves the attention so when people are admiring him (which is often) while he is working, I cue Off then say his name to get his attention and he responds to it quite well. We will keep building duration and distance with all of his commands around new environments!


Pupdate 10/1/2022

Houey and I began our day by taking a stroll around the neighborhood, proofing our Heel as we passed by reactive dogs. Although he is curious, he does not fixate on other dogs as I reward him whenever he checks in with me while huge distractions are present to help increase value in sticking by me. We practiced Send Away to Place while at the local park where we increased distance to about 20 ft from him and the park bench Off Leash.

Once we got home we worked on his manners. Food Manners is the most challenging for him since he is very food motivated! He worked through his impulses and is doing great with waiting for food, even as I go out of sight! Excellent work Houey!

After training the pups always get playtime together. During playtime I noticed blood on Houey’s lip. I stopped the play and inspected his mouth to find a tooth missing! Little Houey lost his baby tooth! Luckily I found it close by on the floor. I will hold it for safe keeping to give to you when I bring Houey back in case you would like to hang onto it.


Pupdate 10/2/2022

Today was a day of proper socialization with Houey and the new pups he was introduced to. He is a great candidate for socialization as he follows directions well when around new pups and immediately stops what he is doing when I Cue Off. I introduced him to a new Labrador that I picked up today. This lab has not been around many pups so she prefers a calmer energy which is great for Houey to get used to. Initially he tried initiating play when she was not comfortable yet. She backed away and he did not continue to try. Instead he walked away and gave her space which is exactly what I was looking for. We Heeled together Off leash next to her and he stuck by my side the entire time. I Cued him to Down as she began to sniff him and approach. By the end of the session he was rolling over in a submissive position which helped her warm up to him. This was a great socialization session that was new to Houey since he is used to running around and being energetic with pups that match his energy. He had to match her energy for a change and adapted well to it! All while holding his commands with a new pup present.


Pupdate 10/3/2022

Houey and I took a trip to the local park today and worked on everything he has learned so far, Off Leash!

Last time we came to this park, Houey had a difficult time holding his Extended Sit and Down when the birds and squirrels were present. He also strayed away from his Heel to investigate the squirrels a few times. Today he was much more engaged, checking in with me and not veering off towards the birds or distractions. He performed his Under command from a distance and was able to perform it as we Heeled towards the bench as well. I want Houey to be able to perform these commands in a variety of scenarios which is why we practiced it in different sequences.

We passed by a reactive dog while he was off leash, and although Houey was curious, when I cued Off he stopped looking at the dog and checked in with me. I marked it with a Yes and rewarded him with a high value treat for that challenging scenario. Excellent work Houey!


Pupdate 10/4/2022

Houey and I Heeled together to the local school park today where we practiced all of his commands with great distance to prepare him for his final video. At first we worked on Send Away to Place 15ft away from the Place surface which was a table. At times Houey gets over excited when sent away to Place and doesn’t quite measure his speed pace well enough to jump on the table in time. After a few tries and help with stimulation from the e collar when it was time to jump, he began to slow down his pace right before jumping. We then increased his distance, working on the timing of his jump. We Heeled past joggers, dogs and squirrels Off Leash. We played a game of fetch on the field. I throw the ball and have Houey hold his Extended Sit while the ball is thrown which takes great impulse control! I then cue Break giving him the okay to grab the ball. Once he grabs it I call his name and cue Off so he can drop the ball. With stimulation from the E collar a few times, he began to bring it closer to me. I rewarded him with a high value treat when he brought the toy over to me.


Pupdate 10/5/2022

Houey and I took a trip to the park where we worked on all of his commands Off Leash with great distance. We even played some fetch! We have been able to work on counter conditioning his habit of running away with the ball. He now brings it to me after fetching for it. At times he needs help with stimulation from the e collar to follow through with dropping the ball so I make sure to time the stimulation as soon as he comes to me to cue Off. He waits for my release to go after the ball and has improved greatly with impulse control. Amazing work Houey!


Pupdate 10/6/2022

Houey and I began filming for his final video at The Block of Orange! We worked on all of his commands and even had a pack walk around the outlets. He was very engaged, offering eye contact during the Heel as I marked it with a Yes every time. There were plenty of distractions like janitors walking around with rolling carts sweeping, kids on the loose, and reactive dogs. While Houey was holding his Extended Sit, a kid ran up to him screaming and trying to pet him. He stayed holding his Sit the entire time. I praised him then released him. His impulse control has been helping him tremendously in difficult scenarios!


Pupdate 10/7/2022

Today Houey had a fun day working at the park with a new handler. They worked on all of Houey’s off leash obedience at the park with minimal distractions around. At first as you can see in the video Houey was testing the handler and wanting to come towards me , but once the handler utilized the ecollar stimulation Houey knew what that meant and went right to his left side to Come and Sit ready to Heel. Houey’s heel was consistent, checking in with the handler as they made 180 turns. He would frequently Stop and Sit every time they came to a stop as well. Overall Houey did great and we also practiced Send Away to Place adding distance as well.


Pupdate 10/8/2022

Houey and I Heeled together around the neighborhood to the local park where we worked on all of his commands while a baseball game was going on.

Houey was very interested in the game but checked in with me frequently and came when called, even from a 15 ft distance. Distance is what we focus on improving everyday which he has done great with. Waiting for my release with all of his commands.


Pupdate 10/9/2022

Today Houey was my personal assistant, utilizing his training skills to help me properly socialize a reactive pup that I have, Katsu! As you can see in the video he held his Place as we worked around him. He got up once in the beginning but after I stimulated him and cued Place again, he stayed there until I released him. Once they both worked a bit I released them to play, interrupting and Cuing Off every now and then to help them control themselves and get back to work mode right away. Excellent work Houey!


Pupdate 10/10/2022

Houey and I spent our day together at the park where we practiced all of his commands before taking his CGC test which he passed, meaning Houey is officially a certified well mannered pup! He can hold all of his Extended commands for a minimum of 2 and a half minutes, Heel Off Leash with distractions, and Come to Sit from great distances. He held his Sit while being pet from a friendly stranger, remained consistent with his obedience near new dogs, demonstrated that he was completely okay with me going out sight, and is great with being handled in all areas of his body.

Overall Houey is a playful pup who loves to work for not only food but playtime as well. Add in a game of fetch during his training sessions and he can train all day! Since he has a lot of energy, releasing it in a healthy way like tug of war or fetch is recommended.

It will also help maintain his Off command as well which he has improved with.

Thank you for trusting me with training Houey! We have had so much fun together and we absolutely can’t wait to show you what he has learned.

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